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oldie_logo_blur_4col-2_03 Literary Lunches


The Oldie Literary Lunches have become a venerable institution on the London literary scene since they were first launched in 1996. Held monthly at Simpson's-in-the-Strand, the lunches feature three speakers who each address the audience for ten minutes. A delicious three-course lunch with wine accompanies the talks.

To book tickets call Katherine on 01225 42 73 11 between the hours of 9am and 3pm, Monday-Friday.

Tickets cost £62

To listen to recordings of previous Literary Lunches, please click here

Click HERE for a round-up of 2014's literary lunches so far...



Diaries at the ready - here are those all-important dates... 


January 13th
February 10th
March 10th
April 14th
May 19th
June 16th
July 21
Aug 18
Sept 15th
Oct 13th
November 10th
Dec 8th
Dec 15th




From left to right: Charles Spencer, Marcus Berkmann, Griff Rhys Jones

Charles Spencer The Killers of the King. The 9th Earl Spencer, and brother of Diana, Princess of Wales, tells a powerful tale of revenge from the dark heart of English history – the incredible story of the men who dared to kill a king. He gained acclaim with his bestselling book Blenheim: Battle for Europe, which Andrew Roberts described as ‘better than any other account I have read since Winston Churchill’s’.

Marcus Berkmann A Shed of One’s Own: Midlife Without the Crisis. For many men, middle age arrives too fast and without due warning. One day you are young, free and single; the next you are bald, fat and washed up. Journalist Marcus Berkmann is determined to find light in the shadows of middle age. ‘A Shed of One’s Own is warm, funny and wise, the antidote to Jeremy Clarkson, The Daily Mail and Grumpy Old Men.’ The Independent. 

Griff Rhy Jones Insufficiently Welsh. In this informal guide to Wales, Griff Rhys Jones rediscovers ‘the land of his aunties’. Born in Cardiff but raised in Essex, Rhys Jones returns home on a mission to explore the real Wales:, the one beyond the tourist trail, which exists deep in the beautiful countryside, full of the hidden treasures and eccentric characters that make this country so unique


From left to right: David Suchet, Geoffrey Wansell, Paddy Ashdown

David Suchet and Geoffrey Wansall ON Poirot and Me. Last year David Suchet retired as Hercule Poirot, having played him in every one of Agatha Christie’s Poirot stories. In Poirot and Me, Suchet tells the story of how he secured the part, with the blessing of Christie’s daughter, and set himself the task of presenting the most authentic Poirot ever filmed.  At the November lunch, with the help of journalist and author Geoffrey Wansell, Suchet will reflect on a role that changed his life.

Paddy Ashdown The Cruel Victory. In his new book, Lib-Dem politician and author Paddy Ashdown tells the long-neglected D-Day story of the largest action by the French Resistance during the Second World War. In early 1941, three separate groups of plotters – one military, one political, one intellectual – began to organise and plan an action on and around the forbidding mountainous plateau of the Vercors, near Grenoble. The overwhelming desire to get rid of the Germans would unite them, while their different views of the France they hoped for in the future would divide them. ‘A powerful account of an extraordinary story.’ The Times.



From left to right: Leo McKinstry, Rick Stroud

Leo McKinstry  Operation Sealion Leo McKinstry, author of Spitfire: Portrait of a Legend, tells the story of everyday Britons and their ruthless and proficient efforts to halt Operation Sealion – the code name for a potential German invasion  - revealing that it wasn’t all dashing RAF dogfighters and doddery Dad’s Armies. 

Rick Stroud Kidnap in Crete As a tale of monumental military derring-do, Kidnap in Crete is hard to beat. Stroud draws on SOE reports and eyewitness accounts to bring Patrick Leigh-Fermor and William Moss’ meticulously planned kidnapping of General Kreipe on Crete to stunning life.  

Third speaker TBC - watch this space!




From left to right: Hugo Vickers, Gyles Brandreth, Selina Hastings

Gyles Brandreth Breaking the Code: Westminster Diaries 1990-2007 The Oldie’s favourite Christmas guest joins us to spill the beans about the reality of life in Westminster and Whitehall as documented in Breaking the Code: Westminster Diaries 1990-2007 – the first ever book to reveal the inside story of what goes on in the secretive world of the Government Whips’ Office.

Hugo Vickers on Cecil Beaton: Portraits and Photographs Joining us to celebrate the newly released Cecil Beaton: Portraits and Photographs, Hugo Vickers is on hand to discuss the life and work of one of the most celebrated portrait photographers of the twentieth century – a man who’s private spikiness led him to be dubbed, by Jean Cocteau no less, as ‘Malice in Wonderland’.

Selina Hastings on The Red Earl  Selina Hastings, biographer of Nancy Mitford, has written a biography of her father, Jack, the Earl of Huntingdon, His story spans the globe, from eloping with an Italian to becoming a disciple of Diego Rivera in Mexico via the Australian outback.



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